Charron Elliott: Louisville, KY
Rondo and Griffin Injuries Will Be Huge Losses Moving Forward
Well It has been a tough 24 hours in the NBA Playoffs as far as injuries are concerned, with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers suffering huge losses to their rosters. Early Friday morning, the Chicago Bulls announced that starting point guard Rajon Rondo would be out indefinitely with a fractured right thumb. For the Clippers, former All-Star power forward, Blake Griffin suffered a season ending injury to the plantar plate in his right big toe.
The Bulls Without Rondo:
Coming into Friday night the Chicago Bulls held a surprising 2-0 lead over the first place Boston Celtics and Rajon Rondo was a huge part of Chicago’s success. Rondo through the first two games averaged nearly a triple-double (12 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds,) and had a total of seven steals. Equally important was Rondo’s defensive impact against All-Star Isaiah Thomas of the Celtics, who hasn’t made a field goal in the series when defended by Rondo and has four turnovers.
Although Thomas only scored 16 points during last night’s contest, the Celtics defeated the Bulls in Chicago 104-87. Rondo’s ability to find open teammates proved to be missed as Chicago had just 14 assists and 18 turnovers in game three.
The Clippers Without Griffin:
The fourth seeded Los Angeles Clippers defeated the fifth seeded Utah Jazz 111-106 in Utah last night to take a 2-1 lead in the series, but Blake Griffin suffered a toe injury in the first half. The Clippers announced this morning that Griffin would be out the remainder of the season, which is a huge loss moving forward in the playoffs. Blake also missed 21 games this season after undergoing minor arthroscopic knee surgery in the regular season.
Unfortunately L.A. has been used to playing without Griffin who played just 35 games last season after punching a trainer and suffered a season ending quad injury in the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs. Blake has now had three consecutive seasons in which he has played less than 70 games.
While the Clippers could win their first round matchup against the Jazz, a possible second round series against the top seeded Warriors will be a tough out for L.A. The Warriors swept the Clippers in the regular season (4-0), with a 22-point average margin of victory and that was with Griffin playing in all four contests!.